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July 9, 2015

Business travellers overspend by up to £855m on connectivity

Businesses spending up to £1.42bn on data charges..

By CBR Staff Writer

International business travelers from Europe and North America are overspending up to £855m per year on connectivity charges while travelling.

Around £275m is wasted from business trips within Europe, while £243m is overspent by Europeans while traveling outside of Europe and £337 is wasted by North Americans traveling internationally.

According to IPK International’s travel researchers, around £1.42bn is spent by businesses to keep business travelers online through cellular roaming, pay-on-demand Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi.,

Commercial Wi-Fi network provider iPass released the Business Traveler Connectivity Cos Index, which showed that the cellular roaming-only approach is expected to cost North Americans traveling internationally £531 – £1,141 per month, and the charges could be around £55 – £273 for Europeans traveling within Europe and £935 – £1,366 for Europeans travelling outside Europe.

Most business travelers know the cost implications of consuming their data using cellular roaming, which has made many adopt a "Wi-Fi First" approach to connectivity as a result.

According to the study, the term free Wi-Fi is misleading, as it usually has slow connectivity speeds, lengthy registration process, and limited usage periods.

This can result in a loss of productivity for business travelers which could cost £562 per business traveler each month.

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One solution for such a situation is the usage of Pay-on-demand Wi-Fi services that are faster and secure, and iPass said that it is offering unlimited global access to a network of 20 million Wi-Fi hotspots for a subscription starting from £16 a month.

iPass president Gary Griffiths said: "Failing to have a practical and convenient policy for mobile connectivity can be a costly mistake for businesses."

"The amount of mobile data consumed by business is growing rapidly, as more employees adopt the use of cloud-based mobile applications of all kinds and look to replicate enterprise working environments on their smart-phones, tablets, and laptops.

"Although there are millions of free and pay-on-demand Wi-Fi hotspots, connecting to them often poses multiple annoyances – from having to enter personal and credit card information repeatedly – to the threat of exposing sensitive business and personal information on unsecured networks."

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